The world of a child is very small in some ways. Even if your family travels a lot, chances are your children are focused on what happens within the few feet around them throughout the day. A few older kids and teens may have a vague awareness of current events in the news, but I would imagine very few have any concept of what the world is like for Christians in every country around the world.
In order for your kids to become passionate about spreading the gospel, they need to understand on a practical basis how important the task is to many people around the world. They need to grasp the enormity of how many people still need to hear about Jesus. They need to comprehend what Christians in many countries must endure in order to worship God or share their faith. They must begin to realize because the harvest is plenty and the workers are few, they personally have a responsibility to do their part.
I was interested when offered the opportunity to review An Insider’s Guide to Praying for the World by Brian Stiller. The book covers about forty countries as well as several specific ministries and people. Personally, I wish they had omitted the chapters focusing on specific people and their ministries. Partially because I believe there is always a danger in holding up any person as a model, particularly of Christianity.
Continue reading Great Resource for Helping Kids Focus on Missions
If you talk to the average teen involved in school and church, you will usually hear about their interest and even passion for issues of social justice. Now back in your day, you may have been interested in some of the same problems of the world. You may even now volunteer in an attempt to make a positive difference. You in fact may actually be more passionate and knowledgable about some of the social justice issues than even the most passionate teen.
There is a generational difference though. Where previous generations addressed social issues within their churches and outside of them, Christian young people today expect churches to take the lead in all of these issues. If they feel their church is not only not leading in these areas, but also in their minds barely addressing them, they will often leave. Unfortunately, because many have little in the way of a strong biblical foundation, leaving often means rejecting not just their congregation, but the church as a whole and even their belief and faith in God.
Continue reading Must Read Book for Christian Teens (and Adults)
It doesn’t really matter if you are reading this post the day it went on the website or days, months or even years later. The world is filled with evil and lots of people who are more than willing to act in incredibly evil ways. Sometimes, they conduct their evil under the pretense of it being what God wanted them to do.
Yet God is GOOD. The Bible tells us all good things come from God. It also tells us “In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 5:16 ESV)
In the process of teaching our kids everything in the Bible about how they should behave, we sometimes forget to tell them their purpose as a Christian. We are to worship and obey God and serve Him by serving others and sharing our faith. Those last two things are what the scripture in Matthew is all about. Serving others allows us to point them to God and share His message with them.
Continue reading God is GOOD Challenge for Kids and Teens
Have you ever seen people walk by kids having fun? Many times it will bring a smile to their face or they will stop for a moment and just enjoy watching carefree children at play. That childhood joy is contagious.
Joy is a very important spiritual characteristic we need to help our children develop. You see joy acts like a magnet. People see people who are joyful and they are drawn to find out how someone could be joyful in this fallen world.
There are several things to remember as you help your kids be joyful:
Continue reading Raising Kids to Be Joyful Christians
If you listen to most parents talk for very long, it becomes obvious many problems in families are actually communication problems. If you have ever said things like “They don’t seem to hear me” or “No matter what I say she gets mad” or almost any sentence involving listening or speaking, you may have communication issues too.
I was intrigued by the title of a new book I was offered to review. You Can’t Text a Tough Conversation by Mike Bechtle attempts to teach basic communication skills to a generation who has spent a lifetime condensing speech into a text. Although in some ways a primer, it had enough great reminders and new information to be helpful to even a somewhat practiced communicator.
The author breaks down the book into four main sections. The first basically makes his case for the need for teaching and learning how to communicate well. In the second section, he gives six tools for healthy conversations and six skills needed in the third section. The final section he uses to more or less put all of the pieces together into some general thoughts on communication circles, technology and more.
Continue reading Parenting and Communication Skills